Do you believe in magic?
While you may think I’m crazy, I strongly believe in magic. I’m not talking about wands, brooms, and cast a spell on you type of magic (although I do believe in that too).
What I am referring to is that intangible, tingly, something in the air feeling, when you recognize an amazing thing is happening around and within you.
Magic lives within all of us, but you can’t expect it to just happen. I believe one of the best ways to ensure you are constantly surrounded by magic is to step out of your comfort zone.
We all have a comfort zone. The comfort zone is a state in which a person feels familiar, at ease, in control and has little anxiety or stress. Your comfort zone could be the job you’ve held for more years than you expected, the relationship you haven’t taken the next step in, or the dream that has lived deep in your bones for as long as you can remember but you hold back on it for fear of failure.
Growing up I did great in school, excelled at sports, and was an all around good kid. But when I think back to my childhood, I also remember that I was very shy, reserved, and comfortable in my routine.
I can’t remember the exact moment but a few years ago my perspective shifted, and I realized that I was happiest when pushing myself out of my comfort zone.
About a year and half ago, I decided to take on one of my biggest personal challenges by joining Toastmasters. I was ‘panic attack’ scared of speaking in public but for some reason I was also compelled to overcome my fear. 10 speeches and a lot of new friends later, the big giant fear I once had has become a minute concern.
The incredible thing is that I not only overcame my fear of speaking in public but most importantly found a confidence in myself that I never knew existed. That to me is the definition of magic. I would have never found my confidence if I didn’t step out of my comfort zone.
But that’s not the happy ending of this story! Sorry to break it to you but just because you challenge yourself once, it does not mean you are done. Actually the hardest part about all of this is that you constantly have to be challenging yourself. And although each challenge doesn’t necessarily get easier, you do become more resilient.
According to Dr. Elizabeth Lombardo, therapist and author of Better Than Perfect, people who regularly seek out fresh experiences tend to be more creative and emotionally resilient than those who remain stuck in routine.
My next life challenge is definitely a big one. Yes I am scared, but my confidence outweighs the fear because I know this is the right decision for me.
On February 2nd, this little backpack will become our new permanent home. My husband and I left our jobs so we can go travel the world for a year.
Throughout my life I have met special people that chose to leave the comfort and familiarity of their everyday lives to travel long term. Every time I crossed paths with these adventurers, a little spark would go off inside me that made me hope and whisper to myself; “I hope I can do that one day”.
I’ve always kept the dream close to my heart. Occasionally I would share it aloud with friends and family, never truly believing it could happen. And as life went on, I fell into my comfort zone as we are all guilty of. More “excuses” popped up that made it seem ok for this life-long dream to dissipate.
“I am lucky enough to have a job at a company I love, can I leave it? I own an apartment, can we afford it? I see my mom 4 days a week, can I go a year without seeing her?”
These are all valid concerns. But as I re-discovered my confidence, all those what-ifs and maybes evaporated. I knew that if I really wanted to make this dream come true it was now or never.
Once I had convinced myself that this was the right moment in our lives to go travel, I had to do the same with my husband! So I used traditional marital negotiation skills…not what you’re thinking!
I said to Andres, “Either we go traveling for a year or we are having a baby.”
While we do eventually want to have a family, the call for adventure won.
So now what happens? First, we booked a one way ticket to Colombo, Sri Lanka.
After booking our flight we had to focus on shopping for all the proper gear, getting our apartment rented, renewing passports, vaccines and shots, forwarding mail and bank accounts in addition to many, many other details.
We’ll be in Sri Lanka for a couple weeks and from there fly to India.
Not really sure what happens after that! We do know that we want to get to know the cultures and people in addition to volunteer in different places.
To me, traveling the world is more than a long vacation. It is not just about being a tourist and eating weird foods (which I am excited about). This is a trip about challenging ourselves. About living life outside the boundaries of what we are accustomed to. About shocking our minds with the unknown. About stepping into the magic zone.
Am I scared about our upcoming adventure? Of course! I have a long list of fears including: Will my Crohn’s flare up, not having a long term plan, how often will we be able to shower (ok maybe if you know us you know this is not such a big fear)…
Fear will try to make you doubt things, but just when it wants to take control and you think it is not going to work out, things start to fall into place to remind you that you made the right choice.
Andres and I will both be posting about our journey on here so stay tuned for more coming soon!